Tuesdays with Torrey: A White Man’s Privilege & the Absence of Justice

Unidentified protesters vandalize a Los Angeles Police Department vehicle on May 30, 2020 during a protest march against police violence following the death of George Floyd.

So Valentine’s Day has come and went. I spent the day with my beautiful family and enjoyed the day but later I got a message asking me if I’d seen what happened with the L.A.P.D. Turns out there was an insensitive Valentine’s Day photo mocking the death of George Floyd circulating through the department featuring Floyd’s face with a caption that read, “You take my breath away.” 

It took me a moment to respond because I didn’t understand the exact emotion I was feeling. I knew I was feeling anger but that wasn’t it. Then it hit me… it was exhaustion. I was tired. Tired of Black lives being murdered with no consequences. Tired of being considered the savage race. Tired of being judged by the color of my skin and not for what’s inside. But most importantly, tired of there being no repercussions for these actions. 

What can change this? Reading the comments on an article about this situation, many white males defended the officers. It’s no wonder these officers continually get a slap on the wrist when it comes to these situations. The only thing that will stop the mistreatment of Black people in this country is when white males stand up and admit that what is happening to Black people is wrong. This has to happen on a major scale, it will not work when the vast majority remains silent. 

The first step in this is to get white males to ADMIT they have privilege. This is easier said than done. The fear of losing this privilege is the biggest reason why this will not be an easy task. Chris Rock said it best in his standup special “Bigger & Blacker” when he jokingly said, “none of ya would change places with me! And I’m rich! That’s how good it is to be white!” 

So where does this leave us? White men please understand that as Black people we are not blaming you for what happened during the first 350 years of this young nation’s existence but we demand that you to accept the fact that you have benefited from what happened over that course of time.

Torrey Brown is a loving husband, father, and son, and also an outspoken champion for the black cause and all social injustices.

Any views or opinions expressed in “Tuesdays with Torrey” are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Watershed Voice staff or its board of directors.